An order of protection (also sometimes called a restraining order) is a civil court order that can be requested against a member of your family or household who is abusing, harassing or intimidating you, or interfering with your personal property.? A restraining order can also be obtained to protect a minor child or a disabled adult from abuse or neglect.
Types of Restraining Orders
There are three types of orders of protection.? For temporary, short-term protection, you can request an emergency order or interim order. For longer-term protection, you will need a plenary order.? An emergency order typically lasts for 2-3 weeks and an interim order can be obtained to protect you in between the time that your emergency order expires and when you can appear in court for the plenary order.
Steps for Obtaining a Restraining Order
For expert guidance on protecting yourself or a loved one from harm, contact Sherer Law Offices to help get the process started.? We will help you complete all necessary paperwork and provide you with advice on effectively obtaining an order of protection. This can be a complicated process, so we strongly urge you to let us help you.
If you choose to petition for the order yourself, these are the steps you will need to complete:
1. Go to your local circuit court and find the circuit court clerk.
Request a petition for an emergency order of protection. The clerk will give you forms to complete. It is useful to bring the following information about the abuser:
- A recent photo for identification when serving the order
- Current addresses of the abuser’s residence and place of employment
- License plate number and description of the abuser’s vehicle
- Information regarding his/her gun ownership
2. Carefully complete the petition paperwork.
On the forms, you will be the “petitioner” and the abuser will be the “respondent.” Write about the most recent incident and be very specific and descriptive. If possible, include dates and location details.
When giving your address or listing the schools that your children attend, you can request that the information be kept confidential to prevent any further danger. If you are staying at a shelter, do not give the physical address, on the P.O. Box number is necessary.
3. Sign the petition in front of the clerk; then it will go to a judge.
Your petition may need to be notarized, so be sure to check with the clerk before you sign the paperwork. The clerk will then forward the petition to a judge. The judge may want to ask you questions during the review. The judge will then decide whether or not to issue the emergency order. if granted, the emergency order is only valid until a full court hearing for a plenary order can take place. you will be given papers that state the date and time of the hearing for a plenary order.
4. The order of protection and notice of the hearing date must be served by the police or other law enforcement personnel.
After a judge has granted you the order of protection, allow time for the order to be officially served to the abuser. Do not try and serve the abuser with papers yourself. The abuser may only be charged with violating the order and arrested after s/he has been officially given notice that the order exists. There is no charge to have the authorities serve the order.
5. Attend the court hearing to maintain protection.
You MUST attend your scheduled hearing if you want to keep your order of protection. If you do not show up in court, your emergency or interim order will be canceled and you may have to start the process all over again. Be advised, if you miss your court hearing, it may be more difficult for you to be granted another oder of protection in the future.
Orders of protection in Illinois are only available for situations covered under the Illinois Domestic Violence Act.? If you feel that you or a loved one is in danger, please contact the legal experts at Sherer Law Offices for a consultation.? We can advocate for you and help get you the protection you need.